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Cutting-edge technology continuously changes rules in the business game. Tech solutions that we saw yesterday in films become trends and inseparable tools to compete in the market today. One such game-changer is augmented reality (AR). This technology can completely overturn our ideas of marketing, interaction with products, quality of services, and our world view overall. World-renowned companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Samsung, and Sony spend a lot of effort and money on AR development, including software and hardware.

According to the Grand View Research report, the global AR market size was estimated at $17.67 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $26.75 billion by 2021. Moreover, this number is supposed to grow to $340.16 billion by 2028, with an impressive compound annual growth rate of 43.8%. The reason is AR provides a lot of advantages and new opportunities for growth and development for numerous industries.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality is a technology that provides a unique experience, combining real-world surroundings with a digital overlay. It’s based on three pillars: a mix of natural and virtual worlds, their real-time interaction, and the precise registration of virtual and real objects. The fundamental difference from virtual reality is that the latter generates a separate virtual environment while AR overlay augments the picture with virtual objects.

The main AR benefit is mobility and availability; you don’t need special hardware to use AR. Apps work perfectly on smartphones or tablets. There are special AR glasses and headsets, but they are not mandatory. Using the device’s camera, AR analyzes the surroundings. After that, algorithms process parameters of augmented objects, and users see them on the screen.

Types of Augmented Reality Apps

Marker-based Apps

Marker-based AR apps differ from location-based apps in several ways. They operate by enabling the software to pinpoint particular patterns via the device camera (eg a QR code or brand symbol), then overlaying digital information upon the real-world environment. This means that when the device user points their smartphone at a particular object or setting, they can see a virtual UI on top of the object. Secondly, if the image in question is either animated or 3D, the digital overlay sits on top of the recognised pattern. These emerging technologies offer enormous potential to software development managers and marketers seeking to extend their existing mobile app offering.

Location-based

Location-based augmented reality apps utilise the distinct capabilities of mobile devices to monitor the position of each device. This enables an AR app to provide contextual data based upon the specific location of an individual device. In terms of real-world application, AR enables location-sensitive functionality. Think help with direction, locating a vehicle in a busy car park, or understanding constellation patterns in the night sky.

Projection-based

This is the most complex and exciting software that augmented reality mobile app development services can offer to numerous business domains.The way these AR applications work is similar to marker-based apps. However, instead of images, it scans and recognizes physical objects and overlays them with virtual layers; thus, users can simultaneously interact with existing and digital objects. Such AR applications are widely used in manufacturing. They’re also popular in the healthcare industry, in which they are used for training purposes.

Industries investing in AR App Development

Gaming

Thegaming industry is the biggest investor of augmented reality mobile app development so far.This technology provides gamers with a newer, more immersive experience, new game genres, and new mechanics. Today, companies continue to experiment with utilizing AR capabilities. In the coming years, the impact of augmented reality on the game industry will only continue to grow.

Healthcare

Augmentedreality has many applications in the healthcare industry. There is software that assists doctors and surgeons, providing all necessary information about patients, supporting remote communication of experts all over the world in real-time, and new mothers and patient education.

Manufacturing

Currently, manufacturing is one business sector that leverages almost 100% of the potential of augmented reality app development solutions. Many industries and companies already use AR applications for repair and maintenance, quality assurance, assembly, and workforce training.

Marketing

Augmented reality is a powerful instrument that many companies use in their marketing and sales strategies. They invest much money in AR app development to impress their customers, providing them with new, extraordinary experiences.Augmented reality is also an excellent option to attract the attention of potential customers and increase your brand awareness.

Education

Everyyear augmented reality raises popularity in the education industry. More interactive and comprehensive ways to receive knowledge motivate students to learn better, increasing their engagement in the process

Military

The armed forces of the world are constantly harnessing new technologies and augmented reality app development solutions are on this list. This includes tactical AR systems that help a soldier complete a mission efficiently and quickly. Augmented reality has all the chance to become an inseparable part of any modern military.

Tourism & Navigation

Augmentedreality offers extensive capabilities for the tourism industry. AR apps can dramatically increase the quality and joy of journeys. There are interactive hotel and restaurant elements, virtual exhibition routes, and many others.Augmented reality is used to improve user experiences and provide new impressions, which is mandatory in the tourism business.

Best AR development platforms

If you’re looking to develop an AR app for your business, there are a bunch of platforms you can consider. Some of the best AR platforms worth a look at are ARPA SDK’s, DroidAR (specifically for Android), Metaio SDK, Vuforia SDK, Wikitude SDK and ARLab SDK. Most of these allow support for multiple platforms including iOS, Android, Google Glass, Windows and Unity.

Some platforms, such as the DroidAR product, are specifically focused on a particular platform – in this case, Android. Other products will enable you to develop mobile apps across multiple platforms, whilst Wikitude SDK specialises in PhoneGap and Xamarin integration.

Developing an AR app can be tricky, so it’s important to choose the right technologies and products to drive your project. Using one of the above platforms could drastically enhance your time to market so they’re worth exploring.

Conclusion

The potential of AR is vast, with many real-world examples being deployed in a commercial setting – from health to manufacturing and retail to travel.  In terms of the future of AR app development, the biggest game-changer is likely to occur when users no longer require a screen. Right now, the vast majority of AR apps require some form of camera to enable the overlay of images on top of the real-world. Whilst using a smartphone is a convenient way of enabling AR, it also acts as a significant barrier to adoption.

Given that the number of mobile devices worldwide is expected to reach 17.72 billion by 2024, AR apps will be more popular and in demand. It’s possible to think about being in pioneering companies to harness all of AR’s capabilities.AR is a future technology that can provide a significant and immediate impact on almost all areas of business and help a company on its journey toward successful digital transformation.

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